Transforming Race, Nation, and the Limits of the Law
In the debate over U. S. immigration, all sides now support policy and practice that expand the parameters of enforcement. Philip Kretsedemas examines this development from several different perspectives, exploring recent trends in U.S. immigration policy, the rise in extralegal state power over the course of the twentieth century, and discourses on race, nation, and cultural difference that have influenced politics and academia. He also analyzes the recent expansion of local immigration law and explains how forms of extralegal discretionary authority have become more prevalent in federal immigration policy, making the dispersion of local immigration laws possible.
While connecting such extralegal state powers to a free flow position on immigration, Kretsedemas also observes how these same discretionary powers have been used historically to control racial minority populations, particularly African Americans under Jim Crow. This kind of discretionary authority often appeals to "states rights" arguments, recently revived by immigration control advocates. Using these and other examples, Kretsedemas explains how both sides of the immigration debate have converged on the issue of enforcement and how, despite differing interests, each faction has shaped the commonsense assumptions defining the debate.
This book recovers the complexity of immigration and government efforts to govern it. One of the most exciting and well-written books on the subject.
Saskia Sassen, author of Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages
An ambitious and sophisticated account of how U.S. law treats the most vulnerable among us.
David Cole, author of Enemy Aliens: Double Standards and Constitutional Freedoms in the War on Terrorism
What does the Emancipation Proclamation have to do with the Patriot Act, or Jim Crow with Bush Administration memos about immigration enforcement? Why have Democrats been tougher than Republicans on 'border control,' and how did a Haitian-born, naturalized U.S. citizen's loss of 'the right to have rights' foreshadow Arizona's controversial profiling law? In an even-handed tone, Philip Kretsedemas answers these and other surprising questions. His book challenges thoughtful readers of all political positions to rethink their assumptions about immigrationand immigrantsand to ask what it really means to be part of twenty-first-century America.
Mark Dow, author of American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons
Even though comprehensive immigration reform has become a political football over the last few decades, there are only a few Americans who understand the evolution of immigration legal policy within the United States over the course of our history. Kretsedemas takes the reader on a sobering narrative history of immigration policy in America in modern times. His book is a must-read for anyone seeking to overhaul our flawed immigration policies.
Arsalan Iftikhar, international human rights lawyer, global media commentator, and managing editor of The Crescent Post
You can gain much insight on these and other issues relating to immigration through this book for which the author done much research and reflects his prior acquired knowledge and insight. This is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand theU.S.immigration dilemma.
A sophisticated, clear-eyed analysis and critique of the limits of our current understandings of immigration policy... Kretsedemas has made a significant contribution... Highly recommended.
This thought-provoking book would fit in well in graduate courses on twentieth-century North American immigration history, as well as political science courses on migration and citizenship.
List of Tables
1. Introduction: An Untimely Intervention on the U.S. Immigration Debate
Puzzling Evidence: The Contradictions of Immigration Enforcement and the Politics of Immigration Policy
Immigrants and State Power: On the Margins of the Law
2. A Different Kind of Immigration, a New Kind of Statelessness
Almost Stateless: Migrant Marginality in an Era of "Nonimmigration"
Policing Professional-Class Migrant Workers
Racial-Ethnic Disparities and Nonimmigrant Flows
Permutations of Statelessness
3. The Secret Life of the State
On Necessity, Revolution, and the Modern State
The Expansion of Executive Authority Under the Modern Presidency
"Populist Rebellion" and the Neoliberal State
Executive Authority, Globalization, and Immigration Policy
Applying Executive Discretion to Immigration Enforcement
4. Concerned Citizens, Local Exclusions: Local Immigration Laws and the Legacy of Jim Crow
Local Enforcement and Local Immigration Laws: The Policy Context
Segregation or Coercive Integration? The Political Dynamics and Outcomes of Local Exclusionary Laws
Interpreting the Law: Egalitarian Norms/Inegalitarian Practices
Racial Disparities, Local Enforcement, and the Silence of the Law
5. Race, Nation, Immigration: Stranded at the Crossroads of Liberal Thought
Beyond the Limits of the Law
Cultural Pluralism, Ethnicity Theory, and the Problem of Laissez-Faire Racism
Unlikely Convergences: Liberal Multiculturalism and Cultural Conservatism
Looking Beyond the Cultural Primordialist vs. Social Constructionist Divide
The Immigrant as an Agent of Transformation
A Nietzschean Critique of "Race Thinking"
The Problem with Practicality
Rethinking the Nation: A New American Dilemma
6. Conclusion: The Immigration Crucible
Immigration Policy and Enforcement Under the Obama Administration
Immigration Policy, National Identity, and the Limits of Executive Authority
Honorable Mention - 2013 Best Book Award, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association